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Storyteller

4th Installment of Obeah

                                      CHAPTER 2

Chickens clucked, dogs barked, and the wings of birds flapped as they flew over the hut. He got up and walked to the doorway and peeped out. The guard sat with his back against the hut sound asleep. Henry snuck past him looking around to make sure he was not being watched. He creped by a couple of girls feeding chickens, hid behind one of the mango trees, waited until the girls walked away and ran into the jungle.

He walked on thick grass that covered the jungle floor. Wild tropical flowers bloomed on the trees and on the ground, birds chirped in the trees, and bugs swarmed in large clusters around him. He was not sure where he was going, but he was sure he would find some civilized people he could relate to.

Kwao went to relieve the guard and found him fast asleep. He went into the hut and saw that Henry was gone; he rushed back out and sounded the alarm,

“He escaped, he escaped!” He shouted and every hut in the village emptied as the children ran up to him. Akosua walked up with Adofo.

“He must have gone into the jungle we must go after him before the Bokors get him,” she said. Kwao threw his spear down,

“Why should we go after him, why not let the Bokors turn him into a Jumbie,” He shouted, some of the villagers yelled their agreement with Kwao.

“Because Obatala would want us to,” Akosua said

“He is not one of us he is one of them, I say we let the Bokors turn him in into a Jumbie,” Kwao insisted, Akosua raised her hand and silenced the crowd.

“Now would you want to be a Jumbie, why would you wish that on anyone?” Akosua said. Some of the villagers hung their heads, but said nothing,

“If you don’t want to go then I will go find him, you don’t have to come.” She said, turned and walked away and slowly some of the kids followed her.

Henry ran as fast as he could, he did not know where he was going, but all he wanted to do was escape that village. He would figure out what to do when he was sure he had some distance between him and his captures. He ran until there was no coconut trees, no birds flying over, no sounds of laugher, just the rustling of animals in the thick brush.

Despite the bright tropical sun, darkness descended on the jungle as the brush became thicker, and he struggled to see where he was going. The tree trunks extended into the sky, disappearing in the thick cluster of leaves. They were entrapped in thick vines that danced eerily in the shadows created by the retreating sunlight.Still he pressed on. Small tree branches bounced off his face, large thorns ripped at his arms and legs. It was hot even though he was in the shade, sweat rolled down his face getting into his eyes. He felt his heartbeat pulsating through his whole body. He stopped to catch his breath and rubbed his legs. His hands became sticky with blood. He heard rustling in the bushes behind him and he stopped breathing, his heartbeat pounding in his ear.

He heard the movement again and he felt like he was going to faint. The sound moved closer, and the bushes next to him moved suddenly, as the jungle above him came alive as birds retreated, squawking as they went. He started to run, a stamped of wild pigs rushed past him. He tripped and fell, and landed on one of the animals, as other animals jumped over him, some crashed into trees. Henry got up and started running again, but suddenly came to a dead stop as he became entangled in a thick cluster of vines. It was as if a million hands were holding him. He heard the most ominous blood curling growl, he stopped struggling as the bushes parted and a pair of yellow eyes appeared from the darkness. They stopped and stood suspended about twelve feet in front of him. Henry’s skin felt like it was on fire, he could almost feel the sweat oozing out of his pours. Slowly the yellow eyes moved towards him, and in an instant, the beast was right in front of him, its breath the worst scent he had ever encountered. The beast sniffed and opened its mouth, saliva dripped onto Henry’s face. Then the beast roared, leaves fluttered violently, and the animals exploded into a chorus of barks and squeals and chirps.

When the roar finally stopped, Henry was deaf for a second. The beast hesitated, its yellow eyes peering into Henry’s eyes. It opened its mouth and licked Henry’s face, he felt the bristles on its tongue scrap against his face and he almost fainted. The beast opened its mouth wider, and it seemed like it was going to swallow his whole head, but stopped when a shadow glided through the trees and dropped a rock on its head. The beast stepped back, trampling bushes and small trees as it did. Then another shadow floated down, then another, and another. The beast roared swinging its giant paws at its attackers. But they kept coming and finally the beast gave up and retreated into the jungle.

Henry fought to free himself from the vines, but with every move the vines tightened. He stopped struggling and looked around. All was silent in the jungle, not a bird or an animal stirred. A shadow darted in front of him. Henry tried to follow it with his eyes but it moved too fast. It went by again, and the eerie silence in the jungle continued. The sunlight seeped through the trees sending streaks of yellow light down onto the jungle’s floor. A large bird glided between the trees, a mere shadow in the limited light. Slowly, shadows began to emerge from the dark shrubbery. At first Henry thought it was the Akan warriors and felt relieved, but the closer the shadows got, he realized it was not them. These were grown men, some were tall, but others were less than four feet. One of them stepped forward, his face painted in red and white. The lines crossed his face from one side to the next. The others had the same markings on their faces. The lines were painted, giving the illusion that their eyes were a separate entity from the rest of their faces. Henry struggled with the vines as one of the men stepped towards him pulling out a knife. He felt the man’s breath tickle his nose,

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Storyteller

Impending Winter

As the mornings get cooler, and you can feel the first bite of pending winter, I refuse to let my summer go, ahhh the sun on my skin, the almost yellow world as sunrays reflect off the earth. Butterflies and birds flying around. Music from cars going by with their tops dropped. Mountain streams meandering, work on the feet as you walk through it. Blooming flowers across the fields. People fishing on river banks, or lakes. Ahhh yes, my endless summer will live in my heard through the silver grey winter.

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Pics with verse Storyteller

Top ah de Marning Neighbours

Top ah de Marning Neighbours

Good morning sunshine, can I join you for a rainbow of flower petals and sun drenched tropical fruit. Can I sit on the hilltop with the birds on my shoulder and sing you a serenade that pulls you up. Will you give me a standing ovation, right above the mountain top, prompt the golden green tree leaves to do the same. Will you dance across the ocean’s surface from shore to shore let the world know, it is time to wake up and live.

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Pics with verse Storyteller

Good Marning, Neighbours

Good Marning, Neighbours

High stepping, early morning, brilliant crimson wake up dance. Graceful as if walking of water. Royal as if in the presence of the lion king. With the wind as their music and the son as their disco ball. They are ready for nature’s graduation ball.

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Pics with verse Storyteller

Daydream Picture

Daydream Picture

It is cold again in West Virginia, I can feel the cold breeze as it sweeps across the Ohio River from Proctorville, bouncing off the buildings in Huntington, freezing my tropical soul. But I have an advantage, I can dream of my beach, Grand Anse beach, ahhh the tropical sun beating down on me, the heat rises from the sand, hugging me like a Grandmother, the smell of the ocean, the flowers blooming, the birds singing, the calypso musing playing. Oh yes, I am there, join me my imagination have room for more.

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Pics with verse Storyteller

Good Morning neighbours

Good Morning neighbours

I can hear the wind rustle through the tree, hear the birds busy at work, pecking on the ripen fruit, hear the thud of one of the fruit as it hit the ground. I walked out to the tree, the birds scattered in every direction, a symphony of squawks, I shook the tree, nothing fell. I needed to get the short ladder, damn it, too early for that, but I wanted that sapodilla. I got the ladder stretched out, picked one, sat on the ladder and took a bite, oh what creamy sweet, heavenly taste, what a way to start the day, clear skies, cool breeze and a sweet, sweet sapodilla.

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Pics with verse Storyteller

Le Phare Bleu Marina, Grenada.

Le Phare Bleu Marina, Grenada.

Would be a nice place to spend a Sunday afternoon, cool breeze, mild sunshine, sounds of birds, would it be a dream.

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Parts Obeah

Spirit

It was dark as they went through a cave of leaves, then it was bright again as they came out on the other side. And abruptly they stood behind Akosua. The blond woman was tied to a tree in the middle of a clearing. The warriors stopped and looked around then took a step towards Akosua. Congo Savanne appeared from behind the tree, his eyes alight with excitement. Snakes slithered out from the jungle behind Congo Savanne and surrounded the tree. Akosua tentatively took a step towards the woman. A snake with a stocky body, grey coloured with dark dorsal blotches jumped up at her. She stopped; the giant snake stopped too, its forward motion in midair, its large head swayed from side to side hypnotically, its forked tongue darted in and out of its mouth. Akosua walked past it, the snake followed her movement as if surprised she was not intimidated. She was about a foot away from the woman when a brown snake, its body lined with darker diamond shapes bordered by a buffed colour took aim at her. The sound of its rattler echoed among the trees, its hissing drowned out that of the other snakes. Akosua stopped, sweat rolled down her face. A rainbow of colours reflected off of her skin as the sunlight bounced off of her. The snake looked at her as if confused, then lowered its head and slithered into the mass coil of reptiles. They were intertwined, sometimes attacking each other. Akosua walked slowly, careful not to step on them. Snakes crawled over her feet every time she sat one down.

Akosua made it to the woman; she saw that the woman’s skin was red from where the vines had tightened around her body. Congo Savanne leaned in,

“You made it in, now let me see you make it out with her,” he snickered as he pointed at the helpless woman. Then threw his head back and laughed. Birds retreated squawking with fear. Akosua used the machete to cut away the vines. The woman shook violently, her blue eyes wild with fear. Akosua swung the machete; the thick vines loosened and fell to the ground, snakes attacked the vines hissing. When Akosua was done she stepped back.

“Take my hand,” she said looking down at the slithering surface. The woman hesitated, but slowly reached out a shaking arm and took Akosua’s hand. She shook so violently Akosua had to grab hold of her so she did not fall. Akosua started to walk but the woman did no move, she just stood there a strained look on her face. Congo Savanne snickered.

“Careful, careful, I don’t want venom in my meal,” he said, Akosua ignored him.

“Just hold my hand they will not hurt you,” Akosua insisted. The woman looked at her tears rolled down her cheeks. A teardrop landed on the head of one of the snakes. The snake reared up taller than the women, its large triangular shaped head slowly leaned back, and its forked tongue surveyed the air. It lifted its head higher, smaller snakes rolled off its long torso, its pale pink body covered with scales, and brown blotches ran down the length of its body. The woman let out a muffled scream as the snake focused on her. Amelia gentle tugged on her arm and the woman took a tentative step. They maneuvered through the snakes stepping on some as they went. The snakes hissed and snapped at each other, their fangs coming within inches of Akosua and the blond woman.

Just before they got to where Kwao and the warriors stood Congo Savanne spoke, it was more of a chant and it was so low Akosua did not hear him at first. A large snake crawled over to them and stopped, then rose up in an s-shape position.

“Ahhh the Fer-De-Lance, ha ha ha ha, now there is a real beast. No mortal man has been able to charm this beast. Let us see how you can use you witchcraft to stop him from attacking you.” Congo Savanne said. Akosua stopped and looked at the snake. The two pits above its nostrils moved sniffing the air, it stayed motionless, waiting for Akosua and the woman to move. Its rich brown and grey colour was lined with velvet type scales; its body was marked with irregular dark cross bands, its yellow coloured throat swayed menacingly as it moved its triangular head from side to side. Suddenly the snake leaned back ready to strike. Akosua moved fast, resting her fingers on its head. The Fer-de-Lance swayed a little, then slowly fell to the ground and slithered off into the other snakes. Akosua stepped out of the snake den and stood next to Kwao and the warriors.

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Pics with verse

Freedom

Freedom

Freedom is gliding across the choppy waters, feeling the sail boat bounce under you as it hits every wave, the sprinkles from the salty surf, the sound of the sails flapping in the wind, the sight of the land going further and further away, until the wind dyes down, the boot settles down, and you are along with the seagulls, peace, freedom, tranquility.

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Storyteller

Moments

Moments

The best moments in life are the longest, because they stay in your memory for a lifetime. Like night falling on the village I lived in on the island. When its cold, or when I am sad, when I am happy, or when I just need peace, memories of pictures like this always reminds me of simpler times, simpler because of youth, simpler because of culture, So as I look at this picture taken this evening by my brother, I remember, the village getting quiet, no cars on the highway, no people walking by on the gravel road, just birds and chickens and goats are stirring, the crackle of someone burning bush in their backyard, the sound of the bushes rustling in the trade winds/ I close my eyes and I realize, simpler times may just well have been the most peaceful times.